Part of a series: Militia Spotlight
Militia Spotlight provides timely, high-quality evidence, analysis and contextualization of militia activities in Iraq and Syria, both within government agencies and outside them.
Welcome to Militia Spotlight, a research blog created by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. The purpose of this blog is to provide a resource for government officials, journalists, lawyers, and citizens affected by militia violence and corruption in Iraq and Syria.
Iran-backed militias are using propaganda and lawfare in an increasingly sophisticated manner. They deliberately spread disinformation in an effort to distort public opinion. These militias use "facade" groups—anonymous online brands—to deflect blame when they act illegally or in ways that might weaken their appeal. One of their objectives is to create a post-truth environment in which they dominate media and legal spaces as a means to control society.
Militia Spotlight adopts the approach of the late U.S. Supreme Court justice Louis Brandeis, who coined the phrase “sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants.” Detailed observation of militias and corrupt militia-backed politicians and judges can yield actionable evidence to support legal cases, sanctions policy, and other actions.
Militia Spotlight will post interesting pieces of evidence that tie militia actors together and demonstrate their involvement in specific activities. Other research alerts will highlight new trends in militia tactics, networks, and hierarchies.
Alongside these alerts, Militia Spotlight will develop a set of profiles that keep track of militias and their facade brands. These living documents will give journalists and analysts an accessible resource with which to quickly establish the affiliations and track record of specific militia brands.
Militia Spotlight entries live alongside many other Washington Institute research products on militias inside Iraq and Syria, including book-length analyses, reports, PolicyWatches and Policy Alerts, and databases.
If you have detailed insights to share on militia activities in Iraq and Syria, Militia Spotlight is keen to hear from you. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your information or blog ideas.